Trainer Bob Baffert can add to his record number of wins in the Awesome Again Stakes when he sends out two runners, Medina Spirit and Azul Coast, in the 2021 Awesome Again Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita Park. The 68-year-old Baffert has won the race, which was originally named the Goodwood Handicap, six times, one more than the great Charles Whittingham. On Saturday, Baffert's Medina Spirit has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the 2021 Awesome Again Stakes odds, while Azul Coast is a 12-1 long shot in the eight-horse Awesome Again 2021 field.
The race serves as a major prep for the $6 million 2021 Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 6. Post time is 8:10 p.m. ET. With a well accomplished and evenly matched field set to enter the starting gate on Saturday, you'll want to see what horse racing insider and Beyer Speed Figure maker Bob Weir has to say before making any 2021 Awesome Again Stakes picks of your own.
Based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Weir has been handicapping and following horse racing since reading Andy Beyer's landmark handicapping book "Picking Winners" in the late 1980s. Weir is highly invested in the Beyer Speed Figure, a number assigned to every race run by a horse that measures how fast the horse ran. He uses the figure as the backbone of his handicapping. In fact, thanks to his proficiency with speed figures and top-tier handicapping, he landed one of just eight spots on Beyer's figure-making team in 2017, a position he holds to this day.
Weir's methodology has produced multiple five-figure days. In 2014, he hit a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar. The following year, he nailed a $31,000 Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park. In 2016 and 2017, Weir qualified for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas.
This year, he has been on fire in the three-year-old races. He hit the exacta in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, Tampa Bay Derby and Peter Pan Stakes, the trifecta in the Risen Star Stakes, Blue Grass Stakes and Pennsylvania Derby and the superfecta in the Belmont Stakes, with the Tampa Bay Derby score returning $1,414. Those are just some of his scores in 2021.
Now, he has handicapped the 2021 Awesome Again Stakes race card, made his picks, and constructed his bets. You can only see Weir's expert picks and betting analysis at SportsLine.
Top 2021 Awesome Again Stakes predictions for Santa Anita
One surprise: Weir is fading Medina Spirit, even though he is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. A modestly bred colt who once sold for $1,000 at auction, Medina Spirit has three wins in seven career starts. In May he infamously won the Kentucky Derby before failing a postrace drug test, leaving the results of that race in doubt.
Last week, Medina Spirit was entered in the more lucrative Pennsylvania Derby, but the connections decided to scratch from that race to run for less money in the Awesome Again, which Weir believes is a lack of confidence in the horse. "I don't like the fact that Baffert did not elect to go to the Pennsylvania Derby last weekend, scratching after the draw for various reasons," Weir told SportsLine. He prefers three horses more than Medina Spirit.
How to make 2021 Awesome Again Stakes picks for Santa Anita
Weir's top pick is a horse who "has proven to be a different horse" recently. He also is high on a double-digit long shot whose "morning-line price is too good to ignore." Weir is including these horses in his 2021 Awesome Again Stakes bets, and so should you. He's sharing his betting tips and which horses to back only at SportsLine.
So who wins the 2021 Awesome Again Stakes? What double-digit long shot is a must-back? And how has Weir constructed his wagers? Check out the latest Awesome Again Stakes odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir's picks for the Awesome Again Stakes, and find out.